Kazuchika Okada to UFC? He says it could happen.
The New Japan Pro Wrestling star is on top if his game, and is having a career year. He's held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the entire duration of 2017 thus far, and is quickly approaching Shinya Hashimoto's 489 day title reign record.
Okada was recently asked about how he thinks New Japan as a company stacks up with WWE, and he doesn't see it as much of a competition as it pertains to talent and in-ring work. Despite that, he's happy that those who left for WWE are enjoying themselves. Okada wouldn't commit to sticking with New Japan Pro Wrestling, either.
"It's not something I think about. New Japan is far superior to WWE when it comes to the quality of the roster and the quality of the matches. One thing I will say is that I do pay attention to what Finn Balor, AJ, and Nakamura are doing, and they look like they're having fun. I might want to wrestle them again someday, but I might want to do that in New Japan," Okada told Pro Wrestling Illustrated recently "Hell, I might want to be like some other people and become a movie star or join the UFC. You never know."
New Japan stars hopping over to MMA is nothing new, as it happened with regularity in the days of PRIDE FC, although often to poor results. At 29-years old, it's not unthinkable that Okada would consider and MMA career, particularly considering that he'd likely compete as a heavyweight and those fighters skew older.
If Kazuchika Okada keeps his championship through October, he'll become the longest reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion of all-time. As of right now, he's tied for fifth place in successful title defenses for this reign, however.